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Rail & Transit Center Rededication Sept. 30

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
September 24, 2008

Rail & Transit Center (UNH Photo)
UNH Photo

Since fall 2007, Amtrak Downeaster passengers have navigated a construction zone at the Durham-UNH train station. The $940,000 renovation to the historic station, which includes a new indoor waiting area with rest rooms and an on-site ticket kiosk, is now finished.

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, UNH officials join representatives from Amtrak and the state transportation department for a rededication ceremony to welcome this 19th century architectural gem into the 21st century.

The rededication ceremony takes place at 9 .am. with a ribbon cutting, historic displays and tours of renovated station. President Mark Huddleston will be on hand to welcome state and local officials.  

The project began in 2007 and includes renovation of the historic train station and expansion of intermodal faculties to include intercity bus capacity, indoor rail/bus transit passenger waiting areas, the renovated Dairy Bar, and historic transportation displays highlighting the role of rail in the growth of UNH, Durham and the region. Funding for the renovation came from the Federal Highway Administration- USDOT and the University of New Hampshire.

UNH Dairy Bar (Erin Gleason, photo)
Erin Gleason, UNH Photo Services

The Durham-UNH station was originally built in 1896 in Lynn, Mass., and it is considered one of the best examples of turn-of-the-century railroad architecture in New England. In 1911, the Richardsonesque station was dismantled and transported to Durham, where it was reconstructed in every detail. It served UNH and Durham until the late 1960s, when B&M passenger service discontinued, and it was reborn in 1970 as the Dairy Bar restaurant, run by students in UNH’s Thompson School of Applied Science’s food service management program.

Amtrak Downeaster service came to Durham in 2001. Downeaster ridership has since grown an average 20 percent each  year out of Durham. In 2008, the Durham station alone will serve more than 60,000 riders.  

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